War Dances, Sherman Alexies new book, is a hot bath. The poet and novelist has messed around with different genres before he started out writing gorgeous short stories, moved to grown-up novels like Indian Killer, hopped over to the young-adult world with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and now offers War Dances, which, as you already heard, is a hot bath. A collection of short stories, microstories, fictional interviews in an absurdist vein, rhyming verse, and longer stories, the book warms the cockles, opens the pores, cleanses, and soothes. Witness these lines from Ode to Small-Town Sweethearts: O, when you are driving through a blizzard/And your vision has been reduced --/Has been scissored --/Into two headlights and a noose
Alexie is a Spokane/Coeur dAlene Indian, which has both nothing and everything to do with his writing.
Fri., Oct. 9, 7 p.m., 2009